Audi’s flagship sedan, the A8, will soon be getting a second soft facelift as seen on this almost undisguised prototype photographed in the US.

Audi’s flagship sedan, the A8, will soon be getting a second soft facelift as seen on this almost undisguised prototype photographed in the US. In keeping with typical German car practice, the changes are subtle, becoming apparent only on close examination. This current D3 generation Audi A8 was first launched in 2002 and then received its first facelift to the updated single-grille styling in 2005. The second facelift still has the big, chrome surrounded front grille that has become the signature of all Audi’s, but the upper part of the grille now has only four horizontal bars instead of five, while the lower area, under the license plate mounting area, has two horizontal bars instead of three. Fog lights are also reshaped, changed from an oval to a wide slot with rounded ends. The prototype has tape over most of the fog light, leaving only a round area open. The side mirrors are also reshaped, not as smoothly rounded as before, and now they incorporate the turn signals, shaped as a barely noticeable horizontal line built into the lower portion of the side mirror. At the rear, the tail lamps keep the same overall shape, but are completely restyled on the inside, with a stylish pattern of LED lights located beneath the outer lens. This should make quite an awesome pattern of light when illuminated. The clear backup portion of the tail lamps has changed from a large rectangle on the inner portion of the lamp cluster to a narrow bar across both the inner and outer portions. The area around the license plate holder has also been reshaped. Also note the new exhaust pipes, which appear to be rectangular or maybe trapezoidal shaped instead of round. Judging by the very finished look of the prototype, it is likely that the freshened A8 will be introduced this fall as a 2008 model.

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